9 Sweet Ways to Celebrate Valentine’s Day near Seattle

Are you searching for the perfect way to celebrate Valentine’s Day with your sweetie or your family? Here’s a roundup of romantic and fun ways to spend Valentine’s Day this year. Remember, if you need transportation such as private town car service in Seattle, let us know – we’ll do the driving!

Family Events:

Father-Daughter Snow Ball

Fathers, want to create more special memories with your daughter? Put on your dancing shoes and head over to the Old Redmond Schoolhouse Community Center. The Father-Daughter Snow Ball event features a frozen-like atmosphere with music, arts and crafts, dancing, and refreshments.

Family Basketball Show

Enjoy a night out watching the Harlem Globetrotters as they celebrate their 90th tour. Check their website for locations, times, and tickets.

Woodland Park Zoo

Explore the zoo during Woodland Park Zoo’s Valentine’s Day Enrichment, Sat. Feb 13, from 10 am to 3 pm. Feed the animals with heart-shaped treats and learn fun facts from zoo staff.

Scavenger Love Hunt

Want to stay in with the kids? Brainstorm an exciting scavenger hunt with the kids to create some great memories.

 

Special Date Night Events:

Pacific Northwest Ballet

Before dinner, take your date to a performance of the Pacific Northwest Ballet’s “Romeo and Juliette.”

Valentine’s Day Cruise

Charm your loved one with a Valentine’s Day Brunch or Dinner Cruise with Waterways Cruises & Events. Choose a cruise on Lake Union and Lake Washington and enjoy cocktails and delicious food.

Wine & Chocolate

Bring your date to Enumclaw, located about an hour south of Seattle, and “celebrate the finer things in life” at the Wine & Chocolate Festival. Indulge in more than 80 unique Washington State wines and a dozen of the region’s top chocolatiers’ treats. You will also learn how to pair your favorite wine with delectable chocolates.

Paint Nite Seattle

Get artistic with your significant other: sign up for a vast variety of different types of art you can paint on canvas. Use code “retailmenot” to get discounted rates.

Stay In Candle Light Dinner

Create a fun menu and spend time in the kitchen, have dinner, and watch a movie. Sometimes there’s nothing better than spending time alone at home!

-Allyson Eli, Sales and Marketing

 

5 Fun Father’s Day Events

Still need ideas to show dad that he’s the best? Father’s Day is just around the corner on Sunday, June 21st, so don’t wait to make plans that dad and the rest of the family can enjoy.

Car Show
June 21st
Burien Town Square Park, Front St., Issaquah
All dads love cars! Whether you’re on the eastside or the westside, there’s a cool car show for you to take dad to. Head to Burien Town Square Park from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. for a Father’s Day Car Show and Chili Cook Off, plus some sweet 50s and 60s tunes to go with the cars! Then, cruise Front St. in Issaquah and stop by Fender’s on Front street from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Finish up with an ice cold root beer (or make it a float!) at the Triple XXX to finish off the day.

Dance Party
June 21st, 11 a.m.–2 p.m.
EMP Museum
Does dad love to dance? KEXP is throwing a dance party at EMP on Father’s Day, featuring break dancing by the Vicious Puppies Crew, crafts and activities, and of course DJs Riz and Darek Mazzone. When you’re done dancing, head over to the EMP and use your dance party ticket for discount admission to the museum.

Brewer’s Festival
June 19-21st, various times
Marymoor Park
If dad’s a beer lover, check out the Washington Brewer’s Festival at Marymoor Park. Featuring more than 400 different beers from 105 Washington breweries, dad is sure to enjoy himself. If there are kids in the family, be sure to go on Saturday and Sunday, when they’ll have a root beer garden and kids area and playground set up. Another idea to make the day stress-free for dad—arrange private town car or SUV service, so you don’t have to worry about driving home!

Museum of Flight
June 21st, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
The Museum of Flight is opening a little early on Father’s Day, and this year they’re honoring dads by letting them in for free – just be sure to bring the kids with you! In addition to all the cool planes you can normally see, Dan “The Lego Man” Parker will be there for Lego building, plus the World War II B-17 bomber will be open for summer tours for the first time.

Play Ball!
June 19-21st
Safeco Field
Tickets are still available for the baseball games this weekend, so why not take dad to a game? Have dinner at the Hard Rock Café in Seattle first – show your ticket to enjoy a FREE Java Lava Burger with an entrée purchase. But make sure you get to the game early; the first 10,000 dads in the stadium on Sunday will receive a new Mike Zunino BBQ apron, then watch the Little Leaguers in a special pre-game parade on the field for Youth Baseball day.

For more ideas and links, visit Red Tricycle’s list of Father’s Day events and activities. If you need transportation for Father’s Day, or any special occastion, let Shuttle Express take care of you – email us at sales@shuttleexpress.net, or call 425-981-7000, option 5. Happy Father’s Day!

 

-Jana Heinrichs, Sales and Marketing

7 Tips for an Affordable, Fun Cruise

Booking a cruise for the first time can be a bit daunting with the many details and choices to consider. And finding an affordable option takes some savvy and research, but with these tips you will be on your way to a memorable cruise vacation, and still have some green in your wallet!

1. Book at the Last Minute

If your schedule is flexible, you can score amazing deals on last-minute cruises. Tip: for the cruise you’re interested in, find out how close to the departure date a traveler can cancel their reservation without a penalty, usually two to three months before departure. This the perfect time to call and check for deals, or cabin upgrades if you’ve already booked.

2. Pick the Right Time to Go

Finding a plum deal on a cruise may be easier during certain times of the year.  Mid-September offers some of the very best rates since the summer has wound down and the kids are back in school. The period between Thanksgiving and Christmas is another time to save some money, when most people are preparing for and celebrating the holidays at home.

3. Pay the Extra for a Balcony

When choosing your room, spring for the most your budget can handle. Your options are usually:

  • Inside, with no windows
  • Outside, with window/porthole view
  • Balcony, which is a room with a balcony on the outside of the ship
  • Suite, which is a larger cabin often with separate living and sleeping areas

You will appreciate the extra space and awesome view you get from a balcony room or suite, especially if you have kids, want to dine in, or just want to enjoy fresh air and some extra space.

4. Pack Light

Make sure to pack smart—which means light! Ships usually don’t offer much space for extra stuff, so make the most of a few key outfits that do triple duty. All ships offer laundry service, too, so you can launder outfits as needed. Ask about the “formal” evenings and how strict the dress code is so you can plan accordingly. If you prefer not to attend the formal events, you can get room service or Lido dining those evenings and skip packing the tux and gown.

5. Get There the Night Before

Arrive the night before your cruise and enjoy an extra evening on vacation. You’ll skip the stress of trying to get to your port city the day of sailing―we’re talking about delayed flights, unforeseen traffic, and weather delays that have caused many cruisers to miss the boat! So, plan to arrive at your port city early and check out the town, enjoy dinner, sightseeing, and prepare for your cruise without worry.

6. Check in After 2 p.m.

Cruisers are often anxious to get on board as early as possible, which means the cruise terminal can be hectic and stressful during the first few hours of boarding, usually from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. if your ship sets sail at 4 p.m. or later. If you board early, you may not even be allowed into your cabin until later in the afternoon, which means you’ll be waiting around with all your stuff. Instead, avoid the hassle and check in after 2 p.m. You’ll walk on stress-free, and head straight to your cabin.

7. Skip Port Calls?

Port calls sound inviting, exciting, can’t-miss, right? But when you ask those who have done port calls before you, they tell a different tale. Often times, you hardly see or enjoy the place you’re visiting, despite paying a high price for the excursion. Many cruisers suggest staying onboard your ship since most facilities are still open, and you’ll have them to yourself―it’s your ship for the day!

 Resources

Check out these resources to make your cruise experience stress-free and enjoyable:

Cruise and Sea-Tac Airport transportation

Pre- and Post-Cruise Packages from Seattle Southside

Seattle’s Cruise Terminal Info

5 Fun-filled Ways to Celebrate Mom

Looking for an extra special way to show mom she’s the best mom ever? Don’t delay―Mother’s Day is Sunday, May 10, so start planning now with these top five ideas for a memorable weekend that mom and the whole family will enjoy!

Barrel Wine Tour
Saturdays, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.
Woodinville Wineries, pick-up downtown Seattle and Bellevue locations

Treat mom to Seattle’s premier wine tasting experience with a Barrel Wine Tour. Offered most Saturdays, you’ll meet the winemakers, tour their cellars, and taste outstanding Washington wine from the barrel at four to five of Woodinville’s best wineries. Plus, enjoy a multi-course wine-paired meal and tour in comfort. If you’d like a private tour for your group, they specialize in that, too!

Mother’s Day Brunch, Blake Island Cruise with Argosy Cruises
May 10, 11:15 a.m.-3:15 p.m.
from Pier 59, Seattle Waterfront (ticketing near Aquarium Entrance)

Celebrate family this Mother’s Day with a cruise to Blake Island, featuring a wonderful buffet with Tillicum’s famous salmon. Guests will also see the regular Tillicum Village show, a one-of-a-kind stage performance and imagery combining Coast Salish storytelling and live traditional Native American dance-plus moms receive a special champagne toast. Add chauffeured Seattle town car service to and from the pier to make getting there convenient and enjoyable!

Mom & Me At The Zoo
May 9 at 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Phinney Ridge, Woodland Park Zoo, 601 N. 59th St., Seattle
Celebrate with the Woodland Park Zoo’s 25th annual Mom & Me event. The whole family can enjoy the animal exhibits, sponsors’ booths, and special activities. The North Meadow and zookeeper talks will focus on the zoo moms and babies out this spring.

Seattle Maritime Festival: Family Fun Day
May 9 at 11 a.m.-5 p.m.
South Lake Union , South Lake Union Park, 860 Terry Ave. N., Seattle

This annual family festival is chock-full of maritime demonstrations, boat races, vessel tours, free music, food and beer garden, and the grand Fireboat Display and WorkBoat Parade. Kids can enjoy free boat building, face painting, arts and crafts and bouncy houses.

Nature’s Nurturers: A Celebration of Mothers
May 10 at 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Bainbridge Island, IslandWood, 4450n Blakely Ave. N.E., Seattle
Hike the trails and learn about the lives of wild animal mothers and the work they do to nourish, teach and protect their young at this annual IslandWood event. Interpretive stations will be set up in the woods with activities for the whole family. After your hike, come back and relax with afternoon tea and a lunch, including quiches, smoked salmon, wraps, chocolate tortes and more.

For more ideas and links, visit Red Tricycle’s great list of events and activities. If you need transportation for Mother’s Day, or any special occasion, let Shuttle Express take care of you–email us at sales@shuttleexpress.net, or call 425-981-7000, option 5. Happy Mother’s Day!

10 Tips for Safe, Fun Prom Transportation

Prom night memories last a lifetime, so take some extra time to choose a safe, reputable transportation provider like Shuttle Express. Parents, we make safety number one so you can rest assured your kids are in a professional, safe, insured vehicle when they leave your sight!

Here are 10 tips to keep in mind when you and your teen are shopping for prom transportation, some from the National Limo Association, with a few more from the experienced event sales team here at Shuttle Express.

  1. Be safe.
    Make sure the company is registered, licensed with the state, and has the proper insurance. Shuttle Express is fully registered and licensed, insured with five times the amount required by law, and compliant in all areas of safety. We also have Drive-Cam units in every vehicle that ensure the safety of the guests and driver. Our efforts are worth it–our guests enjoy safe rides, and we have earned the top safety award in our national insurance group for six years running!
  2. Get the vehicle you want!
    Ensure the vehicle you choose has the space and features you want, preferably with one or two extra seats. Do not exceed the max capacity, because that will mean an uncomfortable night. If you have a large group, check out our larger “party” coach that seats 12-15 friends! Economical, comfortable, and fun.
  3. Get the total price.
    Compare apples to apples so you aren’t surprised when you get the final bill. Ask if a fuel surcharge, service fees, and gratuity are included, or are they telling you just the base price. Our Shuttle Express sales team will make sure you have all the facts.
  4. Ask about extras.
    Do you want ice and soft drinks, a preferred route, or additional stops? We’ll give you all the options, then we will help you decide on the details.
  5. Set some ground rules.
    Parents, you have the right to tell the chauffeured transportation company what will and will not be tolerated in the vehicle. For example, you can ask that the chauffeur keep the privacy screen down for the entire ride. If any of your rules are broken, the chauffeur can turn the car around and bring your kids home.
  6. Give the transportation company a curfew.
    That’s right, the chauffeur will abide by any rules you set, and will make sure to pick up and drop off your kids at a designated hour. This is a great way to ensure your kids make it home on time–no excuses.
  7. Tell your kids to forget about bringing alcohol, cigarettes, or drugs on board the vehicle.
    They will end up missing their own prom! Shuttle Express does not allow any alcohol in vehicles with minor guests who are not accompanied by adults.
  8. Allow time to take lots of photographs.
    You’re definitely going want some photos, so plan for everyone to meet at one location. Make sure the transportation company and the chauffeur have the address and directions. This will eliminate wasting time that can be used for taking pictures and having fun. Ask the chauffeur to position the vehicle to be a part of your teen’s pictures.
  9. Extend the night.
    Don’t forget that there almost always is a post-prom party. Remember to book the transportation for a few extra hours to ensure your teen has time to enjoy all the events.
  10. Remember to sit back and relax.
    A reputable company like Shuttle Express hires chauffeurs with proper training and licensing. These chauffeurs are used to transporting excited passengers all day long, so they know how to keep things under control. So, relax!

Make a Long Flight Fly By!

Most of us have experienced those long flights across the country and beyond–cramped and uncomfortable in an airplane seat for hours on end. But, if you know some of the tips and tricks, your endless flight could be stress-free and painless. Check out these suggestions from experienced travelers:

Bring “Go-To” Gear
Your carry-on bag should be packed with comfort items and things to keep you occupied, such as a travel pillow, eye mask, headphones/earplugs, tablet, blanket, and snacks. And always prepare for lost luggage–pack your carry-on bag with small toiletries, medications, and an extra set of clothes!

Choose Your Seat Carefully
Try to get an aisle seat when booking your flight. With an aisle seat, you can more easily hop up and use the restroom without climbing over someone else, and it also allows you easy access to your gear in your carry-on bag.

Stay Hydrated
It is important to stay hydrated on a lengthy flight, so drink plenty of water! Limit alcohol, though, because that will have the opposite effect.

Stretch
Make sure to get up from your seat occasionally to stretch and move around. Move as often as possible to avoid getting muscle cramps and knots in your neck and back. It’s also important to stand up and move on extended flights to help prevent blood clots in your legs, which is a dangerous condition called deep vein thrombosis (DVT).

Sleep
Try to get some rest during the flight. Napping helps offset jetlag upon arrival, and refreshes you so you’re ready to enjoy your destination.

Plan Ahead for Airport Transportation Service
If you’re starting or ending your trip at SeaTac Airport, try Shuttle Express’s private car service, the quickest way to your home or hotel! Your chauffeur tracks your flight, meets you at baggage claim holding your name sign, and escorts you to your waiting town car. No sharing. Before you know it, you are at your destination!

-Allyson Eli, Sales and Marketing

 

Scary Haunts around the Sound

If you’re in the mood for some scary fun this week, we’ve listed just a few of the frightful happenings around the Sound! For more events, visit Best Events for 12 Months, a great resource all year long when you’re looking for something to do.

Don’t forget, Shuttle Express is standing by as your designated driver, whether you have a bus load of trick-or-treaters to drive around, or you and your friends want to crawl the pubs! We’ve got vans, cars, and coaches of different sizes. Call us at 425-981-7000, option 5, for hourly rates.

  • Tacoma Haunted House – October 3 – 30, 2014 – Hell’s Gateway is a high-tech haunted house with three attractions at 2302 Fawcett Ave.
  • Tukwila Haunted House – October 3 – Nov. 1, 2014 – Shadows Haunted Attraction has both a traditional dark maze and a group theatrical experience in Tukwila.
  • Halloween at Wild Waves – October 3 – Nov. 1, 2014 (schedule) – Fright Fest offers entertainment, rides in the dark, a haunted house, and Booville for kids at Wild Waves.
  • Kids’ Costume Party – October 31, 2014 (4 to 8 p.m.) – Kids 10 and younger will enjoy a haunted mountain, scavenger hunt, games, and trick or treat at the free Costume Carnival at Seattle Children’s Museum.
  • Freaky Halloween Concert – October 31 – Nov. 1, 2014 – FreakNight is a high-energy music and dance concert with freaky entertainment in WaMu Theater at CenturyLink Field for party-goers ages 18 and up.

Enjoy the fun, and stay safe!

 

Game Day Transportation: You Cheer, We’ll Drive

Seattle is just days away from the Seahawks’ first regular season game! If you’re looking for convenient, hassle-free game day transportation for a large or small group, we’ve got a great solution. Our private service options include 55-passenger motor coaches, 14-28 passenger mini coaches, passenger vans, and town car/SUV/limo service. We’ll pick up you and your group at your chosen location, take you to the game, and be waiting for you when the game is over. So, skip the parking mess and try our private group transportation service.

It’s easy to book, just call us at (425) 981-7000, extension #5, or email us at sales@shuttleexpress.net. We’ll take care of the details and the driving so you can cheer on our favorite team!

Top FAQs from Seattle Visitors

July 22, 2014 By Seattle Fun Comments Off

We asked our friend Ann Peavey at the Seattle Visitor Center what visitors most want to know – here are the top questions (with answers!) visitors ask this city expert:

1. Where’s the best a view in Seattle?

  • The most iconic viewpoint in Seattle is the Space Needle’s observation deck at the 520 foot level. Along with fabulous views of the city, the Needle is also a top dining destination in the area.
  • The Columbia Skyview Observatory at the Columbia Tower sits on the 73rd floor of the tower’s 76 floors. At nearly 1,000 feet high, the observation floor is the highest on the west coast.
  • The Smith Tower offers views, as well as a dose of history! Built in 1914, the tower was the tallest building in the world outside of New York City in its day, and now operates as an office tower. The observation deck is on the 35th of 42 floors and boasts being one of only two buildings (the other being the Space Needle) with elevator operators.
  • Kerry Park on Queen Anne Hill’s West Highlight Drive is one of the top destinations for views without a price tag!

 

What’s a good getaway outside of Seattle?

Bainbridge Island (and the community of Winslow) is an easy half-day trip from downtown–Winslow gives guests a feeling of Northwest island life without the time commitment necessary to travel to the San Juan Islands. The Washington State Ferry departs Colman Dock at Pier 52 for the 35-minute trip nearly every hour throughout the day. With just a $8 price tag for round trip foot passengers, it’s a bargain! Need to get to Colman Dock? Shuttle Express offers convenient private service.

 

What’s the Underground City?

There isn’t actually a city under Seattle, but there are relics from what were once operating storefronts beneath the city’s streets (a feature created when landfill covered the first and second stories of a few businesses built on Pioneer Square’s soggy streets in the late 1800s). Guests can view these remnants of the past through two walking tours:

  • Bill Speidel’s 90-minute Underground Tour operates daily with animated tour guides who bring the city’s history to life.
  • A new tour – Beneath the Streets – now offers similar scenes and stories in a 60-minute exploration of underground passageways.

 

Visitors can learn about these and other sightseeing opportunities at either of Visit Seattle’s two downtown visitor centers:
Seattle Visitor Center and Concierge Services, 7th Ave. & & Pike St.
Market Information Center, 1st Ave. & Pike St.

Need Help with Large Group Transportation?

You’ve just been delegated the task of finding transportation for 50 co-workers from your office to a downtown restaurant, all at the same time. Need some help? As Seattle’s large group transportation experts, the Shuttle Express team coordinates large and small group travel every day! Here is advice from our seasoned sales coordinators to help make any large group transportation successful from the start.

  1. Plan ahead. Start looking for your transportation as soon as you have the details. Our fleet of 14-28-passenger mini-coaches and 55-passenger motor coaches gets snapped up quickly, especially during the busy summer season when tourists and cruise ship passengers hit Seattle. The earlier you get pricing and availability, the better.
  2. Provide details. Have as much information as you can when calling for quotes, including a basic itinerary and a general idea of budget. When our sales team has all the information, we are better able offer transportation options that work.
  3. Compare “apples to apples.” When considering quotes, make sure you look at all charges, including gratuity, fuel surcharge, and any additional fees so you aren’t surprised when the bill comes. And always ask about minimum booking requirements. Some companies require you to book three or four hours, even if all you need is a one or two hour transfer. The minimum booking time for our 14-55 passenger coaches is two hours, including travel time, so you don’t pay for time you don’t need.
  4. Check safety ratings. Safety is a critical when it comes to transportation. Check on the safety rating of any company you’re considering. We’re proud of our safety and driver training programs; we work hard at earning and maintaining the government’s highest safety rating.
  5. Be open to suggestions. Sometimes, two mini-coaches make more sense than one larger coach when transporting a large group, it just depends on your needs. For example, it may be more convenient for your group if departure times are staggered.

Need a ride? As Seattle’s local transportation experts, our professional, friendly drivers have been getting people to where they need to go for nearly 30 years, safely and on time. We’re best known for our iconic Sea-Tac Airport van service, but we do so much more—luxury cars, large and small coaches, private vans. We partner with corporations, hotels, meeting planners, or anyone who needs reliable, comfortable transportation with a friendly attitude.

So whether your company needs VIP black car service or group transportation for 50 of your favorite colleagues, our experienced, caring team will make it happen. Reach us at sales@shuttleexpress.net. We’re here to help!